Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) to Buy

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $34.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 8.80% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Fifth Third have outperformed the industry over the past six months. The performance was supported by the company’s decent earnings surprise history. It surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in two of the trailing four quarters. The company’s ongoing strategic efforts, such as Project North Star, will likely boost its efficiency and revenue over the long run. Also, margin pressure seems to be easing gradually, given the Fed interest rate hikes and improving economic backdrop. However, elevated expenses on the company’s branch digitization initiative and legal issues remain a concern.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a research note on Sunday, December 10th. Macquarie lowered Fifth Third Bancorp from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $28.47 to $26.00 in a research note on Friday, November 17th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $32.00 price objective on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a report on Friday, December 8th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Fifth Third Bancorp from $30.00 to $34.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Fifth Third Bancorp in a report on Saturday, September 16th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $29.33.

Shares of Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ FITB) opened at $31.25 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.89 and a current ratio of 0.89. Fifth Third Bancorp has a 52 week low of $23.20 and a 52 week high of $31.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $22,050.00, a PE ratio of 11.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.35.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48. Fifth Third Bancorp had a return on equity of 9.58% and a net margin of 25.81%. The firm had revenue of $1.54 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.55 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.65 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Fifth Third Bancorp will post 1.79 EPS for the current year.

In related news, EVP Timothy Spence sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.86, for a total transaction of $432,900.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 154,577 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,461,092.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.38% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of FITB. Tredje AP fonden boosted its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 25.1% during the 2nd quarter. Tredje AP fonden now owns 60,310 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,574,000 after acquiring an additional 12,101 shares in the last quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 99,522 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,584,000 after acquiring an additional 3,127 shares in the last quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK boosted its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 317,689 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $8,247,000 after acquiring an additional 33,960 shares in the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR boosted its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 59.4% during the 2nd quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 15,873 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $412,000 after acquiring an additional 5,918 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC boosted its position in Fifth Third Bancorp by 10.1% during the 2nd quarter. Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC now owns 14,324 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $372,000 after acquiring an additional 1,319 shares in the last quarter. 83.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third Bancorp is a bank holding company and a financial holding company. The Company conducts its principal lending, deposit gathering, transaction processing and service advisory activities through its banking and non-banking subsidiaries from banking centers located throughout the Midwestern and Southeastern regions of the United States.

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